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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Judith Halberstam: Popular Culture "conceives" the Transbiological

  • Author(s): Westrup, Laurel
  • et al.

On October 24, 2006, the Center for the Study of Women presented Judith Halberstam’s provocatively titled talk, “Transbiology: Penguin Love, Doll Sex, and the Spectacle of the Non-Reproductive Body” as part of a speaker series focusing on performance and embodiment. Effortlessly moving between references as diverse as Joan Roughgarden’s influential book Evolution’s Rainbow and horror films, Halberstam called into question our society’s deepest assumptions about the nature of humanity, heterosexuality, reproduction, and the conflation of these terms. By examining the tenuous discourses of human reproduction in March of the Penguins and Seed of Chucky, she opened up a space in which to discuss what she terms “counter knowledges” in the realm of popular culture.

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